Archive for January, 2007



January 31, 2007

What a bummer. Here I was all set to make some Cougar tartare this weekend.


Fried Chicken

January 30, 2007

I do have on thing on my mind besides the Superbowl.

Fried Chicken.

I’m going to fry up a giant batch for the Superbowl Party. As an Indiana native, I have to represent!


Superbowl Fever

January 30, 2007

I can’t help it.

I can’t stop reading everything I can find about the Superbowl.

I swear to myself that I’m not going to do it and 60 seconds later I’m knee deep in a story from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette about Tony Dungy and the worst question a reporter has asked since the Colts beat the Patriots.

(The question:”After your son’s death, when did you know you’d be OK?” No, I’m not making this up.)

Don’t get me wrong. Having your team in the championship game is a great feeling.

Here’s my problem. None of this really has anything to do with the game itself. When the whistle signals the kickoff on Sunday, 90% of this stuff won’t make a bit of difference.

Waiting for this game is killing me!


Sculpture Park

January 29, 2007

Two weeks ago, The City of Seattle opened the newest addition to the SAM (Seattle Art Museum). A nine acre, $85 million dollar Sculpture Park on the shores of Elliot Bay. I haven’t visited yet, mainly because there have been over 70,000 people there over the past two weeks, but from what I hear, it’s an impressive addition to the Emerald City. The natural beauty of Puget Sound along with the landscaping and of course, the art itself, have apparently come together to create an amazing park.

The SAM was able to cover over 75% of the costs with the public on the hook for less than $21 million. That’s a lot of cash but it seems like a good deal by today’s standards. It’s a pittance compared to the $300 million the Sonics want for a new stadium.

While I’m sure the park is outstanding, I have to chuckle at the disconnect between the Museum staff and the ROTW (The Rest of the World. One of my favorite acronyms so you’ll see it a lot. That is, if you keep reading). On Saturday, the Seattle PI quoted (and I paraphrase) a Museum Spokesperson complaining that people won’t keep their hands off of the sculptures, particularly, Richard Sierra’s 300-Ton behemoth, Wake.

You know, I am not an expert on outdoor art but if you put a set of five, massive, 14-foot tall, rusty steel sculptures in the middle of a wide open Seattle park, people are going to touch them. They’re going to touch them, scratch them, tag them, kick them, do heroin behind them, and who knows what else. This is Seattle for God’s sake. Our weirdo per-capita ratio is abnormally high. Remember Enumclaw?

Check out the ‘Bean‘ in Chicago. The reflective surface is integral to the sculpture, it’s the beauty of the piece. And they let people put their paws all over that thing. It’s part of the experience.

There’s also an oversized Typewrite Eraser that you’re not supposed to take pictures of. Yeah, right.

All that said, I’m excited to get over to the park soon. I’ll let you know what I think.



January 28, 2007

Today, I’m going ‘public’ with this blog.

I’ve decided it’s time to come out of the closet and admit that yes, I too am a blogger. Yeah, I hate the term blogging as much as the next guy (well, probably not as much as Kemper does) but I’m afraid we’re stuck with it.

So what am I going to blog about? Hell if I know.  Whatever I feel like that day.

Why am I doing this?  I figure it’ll be good mental exercise along with a way to keep in touch with friends and family. And, c’mon, everyone is doing it!

Soon, I hope to move it off of the wordpress site to my own site.  Plus, it seems like a good way to learn some basic design web skills.

Feel free to comment.  I think it would be great if this wasn’t just me talking at the world but real back and forth communication.




My New/Old Desk Chair

January 28, 2007

I’m writing this from my new desk chair.

When my parents retired, they went all David Thoreau and got rid of most of their stuff, only keeping the essentials. They spend almost all of their time traveling now days and don’t have room/time for a lot of stuff. As a result of their purge, my sister, brother and I ended up with most of their furniture. One of the pieces I got was my Dad’s old desk chair.

(As an aside, if you’re interested in reading about my parents travels, you can find my Dad’s book here and his blog here.)

By the time the chair made it’s way to me, it was feeling its age. For the last ten years of it’s life in Indiana, it had been out in the garage. There, it suffered through freezing winters and boiling summers along with being used as a foot stool, an ad hoc saw horse, and any other indignities that befall a piece of furniture banished to the garage. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take any pictures of it in its dilapidated state.

A few years ago, I decided to go ahead and restore it. I figured that I just needed to sand, stain and seal it and it would be good to go. First however, I needed to replace a few small pieces of wood in the base and one of the curved back supports. Luckily, I have a friend, Joel, who is an experienced carpenter and I asked him to take a look at it, to see if he could make replacement pieces. Soon after this, I left the country for work and was pretty much gone from Seattle for the next 6 months. The chair slipped to the back of my mind.

Seven or eight months later I went by Joel’s place and there was the chair. He had not only replaced all of the missing pieces, he had basically rebuilt the entire thing from top to bottom. Apparently the years of sitting outside in the garage had damaged many of the joints to the point where the chair was on the verge of losing its structural integrity. His craftsmanship (as always) was amazing.

I took the chair home and again, the restoration hit a lull. Finally, a few months back, I organized the garage in our new house and began the final step of finishing it. First, I sanded everything down. Next, I painted and lacquered all of the metal pieces. I used seven or eight coats of Danish Oil on the wood, staining and protecting it all in one step.

Here it is:


This is one of the two back braces Joel built. He used steam to bend the wood.

Back Support


This is the only thing I didn’t paint or stain. I like the contrast it adds. Nice to see a reminder that things actually used to be built in the USA.

Made in USA





January 25, 2007

Last week I went and got my Drivers License renewed.

When I moved here in 2001, I went in to transfer my license from North Carolina and ended up flunking the test. I had even studied for the damn thing. I passed it the second time but to tell you the truth, none of the study materials were any help when it comes to driving in Seattle. Nothing about roundabouts, loading and unloading ferries, ridiculously narrow, steep streets or intersections sans stop or yield signs.

I drove up to the Greenwood branch for the license renewal. I took a number when I got there, 229, and they were only on 210. To kill time I wandered about, checking out the neighborhood. Turns out, it’s a really cool area.

When I finally made my way back to the license branch they were on 228. A few minutes later they called my number. I made my way to the counter and went about the business of renewning my license. He updated all of my info and told me it was a $35 fee. I thanked him, grabbed my wallet and handed him my credit card. He shook his head and said cash only.

75 minutes and two lines later I ended up with a temporary license with a promise that mine would be delivered in the mail sometime in the next few days.

All of this is kind of hazy as I can only really remember one thing.

No restrictions on my license.

I had Lasik surgery 2 years ago and had no problem passing the vision test for my license renewal. For the first time in 23 years, I don’t need glasses or contacts to drive.

It was defintely the high point of my week. There is nothing better than finally being able to see without glasses or contacts.

Later, I had a Pulled Pork sandwich at the Pig and Whistle that made a good day even better.